NewsMay 9, 2013 3:35 PM ET5,652 views

Doctor: spider bite didn't cause Hanneman's death

The Daily Beast has published a piece written by Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, a New York City infectious-disease specialist, analyzing the likelihood of a spider bite contributing to the untimely death of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman. His conclusion? Unlikely. As you've read many times by now, Hanneman sustained a serious infection in 2011, one which he blamed on hot tub spider bite. And when Hanneman passed away last week, it was suggested (by Slayer's spokesperson, among others) that the infection probably played a role in the liver failure that killed him. According to Dr. Sepkowitz, however, it's most likely the other way around:
The necrotizing fasciitis and the liver failure both are awful, but despite the tidiness of the narrative suggesting that the old necrotizing fasciitis caused the new liver failure, the story is exactly the opposite: people with severe underlying medical problems, such as chronic liver disease, are at increased risk for necrotizing fasciitis. So rather than the 2011 illness influencing his death, it is more likely that the very illness that killed him—liver failure—was the same condition that predisposed him to the near-death experience two years ago.
In other words, Hanneman likely suffered from chronic liver disease, and utlimately, that's what killed him.

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